“Her view is the old, classic, European caricature that we describe of big government, big taxation, welfare state,” said the former Massachusetts governor.

“She gave a speech a couple of days ago and laid out her vision for America. And as I listened to her I figured her platform wouldn’t even get her elected in France,” Romney, who was a missionary in France, said to chuckles and applause. ~AP

So he really is going to run his campaign on Francophobia and lame welfare state-bashing. Well, he’ll run on that and on his preposterous “it’s about Shia and Sunni” foreign policy chatter and his “caliphate” boilerplate. Mind you, I don’t have anything against welfare state-bashing, but if I were the candidate who had signed universal health care (with insurance mandates for all!) into law as governor I think I would be taking a different approach to the debate over the role and size of government.

Naturally, being Romney, he cannot even make this criticism properly (this may have something to do with not really understanding the conservative critique of the welfare state and simply mouthing poll-tested slogans that he thinks conservatives want to hear). He says that Clinton’s view is “the old, classic, European caricature that we describe of big government, big taxation, welfare state.” Taken literally, Romney’s words seem to mean that Clinton’s view is an old, classic caricature that had been drawn by someone in Europe. We know what Romney wanted to say here, but he didn’t really say it. He doesn’t seem to know what the word caricature means.

When you say that something is such-and-such a caricature of something, you are actually saying that the caricature is a distortion of the real view of the person and you are using the modifier to describe who or what kind of person is drawing the misleading caricature. Thus you would say, “the liberal caricature of Christian conservatives” or “the conservative caricature of liberal academics,” etc. According to Romney, there apparently used to be an old European caricature of Hillary Clinton’s policy views. In fact, part of Romney’s remarks becomes a string of disconnected phrases. If he has been correctly quoted, he just begins uttering phrases at the end of that one sentence: “big government, big taxation, welfare state.” Grog no like welfare state.